White Material


A coffee plantation owner gets caught up in a civil war in Africa

White Material review

An unnamed African country with battling rebel forces, French troops cutting and running, and inhabitants getting caught in the crossfire.

In the middle of all this is Maria (Isabelle Huppert), who determines to stay put and harvest her coffee crop.

Africa, where director Claire Denis was raised, always brings out a heightened intensity in her films, and the immediacy is gripping – despite the plot going haywire towards the end.

As ever, Huppert is a potent presence, even if her character’s motives aren’t always clear.

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